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  #1  
Old 12-16-2008, 05:02 PM
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Found a 1992 500sl

Hello
I've never owned a MB I came across 1992 500sl. It's been sitting in a shop four years. it has 85k mi I've made an offer on the car and it was accepted. It runs and drives but.... the dash cluster does not work except the clock and temp and it overheats. I don't think the fans are working. I can pick this car up for 5k. it looks like the last owner drove and enjoyed the car. i really want to pull the trigger on this car but i need an idea of what it might cost or some steps i can take to at least get the thing to cool. I reached in and grabbed the fan and it stopped @ 120 in the red on the temp. I did a little poking around on this fine site and picked up a few things to try with fuse es to get the dash to work no luck. I think it could be a great car with a little love.

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  #2  
Old 12-16-2008, 05:06 PM
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The owner must not have wanted it back, do you really want it? You will get your share of fixits why start?
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2008, 05:47 PM
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If you really "reached in and stopped the fan" and it was the engine fan, not the hub of the electric one you shouldn't be doing anything mechanical.

There is no way anyone can tell you (unless its a wild ass guess) what it would cost to bring it back without a lot more information. So, assume the worst: overheat = head gaskets, no gauges = new/used cluster. Already at $5000 if you are paying someone else to do it.

Pass on the car, it should not be your first because it would surely be your last MB.
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2008, 05:49 PM
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If you are willing to put some sweat equity into it yourself, and it's in otherwise great shape, the difference between "the going price" and that price buys a lot of parts.

But I hope this is not your first restoration project.
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2008, 09:08 PM
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Make the owner fix the car, and then buy it. There is a reason the car has been sitting in a shop for 4 years, that is a red flag.

The chance that this particular car has been overheated is very good... You can't afford to take chances with a car of this caliber. If the heads are warped you are talking big, big bucks to fix. Please be careful... Have someone who really knows MB's check this car out carefully.

Best of Luck, I Love 500SL's...

-GH
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2008, 02:44 PM
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I should have been more specific. The car is in a dealership back detail shop. When I grabbed the fan I could see it barely moving as the belt turned and I spun it backward. I guess what I was looking for was some advice on a fan relay to check or coolant circulation . I realize it's a crap shoot on catastrophic damage from heat ie: cracked head, warped head, bad head gasket. If i can get the fans to turn and coolant circulation i will know to buy it or walk away
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2008, 03:06 PM
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iamjlira, pay a knowledgeable tech in the MB dealer's Service Department to perform a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) of this 500SL so you know what repairs it needs immediately, and what the repairs will cost. Buying any car with "pot luck" is insane.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2008, 07:33 AM
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Sounds to me like the fan clutch is shot. A new one will cost you a few hundred bucks. I agree with the previous post though. If you're serious about the car spend the money and get a PPI. Someone once said that the most expensive car you will ever own is a cheap Mercedes. Tread cautiously.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2008, 04:31 PM
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It also sounds like the price is about 1,000$ too high considering the condition.
If the PPI reports no engine trouble (and comes with a warentee) and a belt fixes the overheat, then the price might be OK for a pretty car.

Is it pretty and will it actually work as expected?

-CTH
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2008, 04:55 PM
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Haven't seen it, but if it runs - as you wrote, you bet it's worth $5K. How much more after the $5K does a "running car" cost you? That's the $64,000.00 dollar Q.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2008, 05:50 PM
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I've taken the good advice I've been given and had it towed to MB shop for an inspection.
Yes it is pretty Black on Charcoal with Tan Leather
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2008, 06:32 PM
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pretty outweights mechanicals when it comes to price. It's not just that life is a beauty contest, its that those little cosmetic things like sunvisors and top coats cost a great deal.

Having said that, I am looking forward to hear more about the mechanicals.
Here's to luck.

-CTH
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2008, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjlira View Post
I've taken the good advice I've been given and had it towed to MB shop for an inspection.
Yes it is pretty Black on Charcoal with Tan Leather
Good move. Sounds beautiful!
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2008, 04:20 PM
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The initial results are back from my PPI. So far a loose belt, broken thermostat, dash cluster is fried and soft top rear window is cracked. Not so bad I guess. The mechanic declared it safe after his inspection of suspension, ball joints and tie rods. He finished resetting the power top control module late Friday afternoon. Both top work the way their supposed too. But did not get the new thermostat back in. So Monday we'll fire her back up and see if that fixes the overheat problem.

On the down side upon his inspection of the motor he found signs of poor oil maintenance
and expressed concerns of engine life and how sometime down the road it will shorten the life of the motor. Other than that he said it had good power, no leaks, drove well, didn't puff smoke or sputter just got hot. Thermostat hopefully will fix that.

Monday afternoon I might be the proud owner of my first Mercedes Benz. Far out!
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjlira View Post
The initial results are back from my PPI. So far a loose belt, broken thermostat, dash cluster is fried and soft top rear window is cracked. Not so bad I guess. The mechanic declared it safe after his inspection of suspension, ball joints and tie rods. He finished resetting the power top control module late Friday afternoon. Both top work the way their supposed too. But did not get the new thermostat back in. So Monday we'll fire her back up and see if that fixes the overheat problem.

On the down side upon his inspection of the motor he found signs of poor oil maintenance
and expressed concerns of engine life and how sometime down the road it will shorten the life of the motor. Other than that he said it had good power, no leaks, drove well, didn't puff smoke or sputter just got hot. Thermostat hopefully will fix that.

Monday afternoon I might be the proud owner of my first Mercedes Benz. Far out!
Mazel tov and welcome to the club!

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